A professional does the work and sells the painting. That is the artist’s calling and he must answer loud and clear. It sounds like a nice enough job – get up, think about a project or maybe get out for some reference work. Then start in the studio and push on through the day. A steady stream of painting sales keeps the wolf from the door (OK I may have embellished this last bit a little).
If all does go according to plan and the muse is in full force I will be really pleased with a couple of paintings a month that have taken me to a new level. Admittedly it is progress by degrees, but progress nevertheless. Is it tempting to keep a painting back? Do I want to hang onto a painting that has won my heart perhaps with the promise that I will put it out there sometime in the future? The answer is yes, but I still put it up for sale.
Once I made the decision to go pro a different thought pattern emerged. I chatted to Daniel Novela recently in Grahamstown about this. He admitted that it was hard to part with a few special paintings, but he still had them on display for sale. Once a painting is complete there is an energy that has been released and must be passed on. The process then begins anew. Failing to do this will hold an artist back. I have heard some artists hold onto a painting for resale in years to come like some kind of pension. No thanks – this feels wrong and self-defeating.
What artist does not get pleasure in sharing the collector’s excitement ? It is all good. Paint it with an open heart and let go.